A popular and intuitively plausible type of argument for the rights of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals is based on claims that sexual orientations are inborn and/or unchangeable. Many advocates of such rights view expressing doubts about the immutability and innateness of sexual orientation as tantamount to opposing gay rights. Legally, claims that sexual orientations are innate and/or immutable intersect with the so-called immutability factor in equal protection jurisprudence. This article considers the legal, ethical, and empirical support for arguments for LGB rights based on immutability and innateness. I raise a variety of problems for such arguments in various contexts, including amicus briefs associated with recent Supreme Court cases about marriage equality for same-sex couples. My analysis helps explain and contextualize disagreement within the LGBT community about the wisdom and efficacy of appeals to immutability and innateness.
Immutability and Innateness Arguments about Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Rights,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol89/iss2/5